AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Fat lies: Did you inherit your body?

While obesity is typically attributed to over eating and a lack of exercise, researchers at Kings College London have identified a type of gut bacteria, called Christensenellacae, which influences a person’s genetic makeup and body weight. The study focused on fecal samples from 416 pairs of twins. Of these participants, identical twins had a larger abundance of the gene microbe than fraternal twins suggesting that the bacteria is highly heritable. Furthermore, researchers found that Christensenallacae is most common in the intestines of lean people and in experiments with mice they determined that this microbe alone promoted thinner mice. Thus far, research results suggest that a person’s genes influence his body weight by determining the types of bacteria that live in his intestines and that altering the Christensenallacae population could have a direct impact on his susceptibility to obesity. This research gives a very important window into the study of obesity prevention and gut microbes. Although the information is groundbreaking, further studies need to be conducted to determine if altering levels of this gut microbe is actually effective.

As researchers continue to expand their study, how do you think this discovery will be used in the future to combat obesity?

weight loss by pixabay

weight loss by pixabay

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1 Comment

  1. gherloniapparatus

    Great article, kation! This is something that we never really come across – we always tend to think that diet and exercise are the main components and deciding factors of ones body shape. However, this article is really interesting in addressing the genetic aspect of weight and obesity. Christensenallacae, although it is still an uncertain study, is something that could potentially be monitored in order to control obesity, given that genetic modification would be able to take place.
    Here is a website with more information on Christensenallacae.. I can’t wait to learn more about this.

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